JK Rowling in online row over ‘anti-English’ SNP

JK Rowling caused an online storm after questioning a journalist's claims that anti-English sentiment had been 'expunged' from the SNP. Picture: AP

JK Rowling caused an online storm after questioning a journalist's claims that anti-English sentiment had been 'expunged' from the SNP. Picture: AP

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JK ROWLING has caused an online storm by suggesting some SNP members are anti-English

The Harry Potter author took to social media to question a claim that all traces of anti-English sentiment were “expunged” from the party in the 1970s.

Quite a claim. How many English incomers were polled before the making of that confident assertion?”

JK Rowling

She was responding to a newspaper article in which a political commentator claimed there was no longer any ethnic nationalism in the SNP.

The article read: “Any trace of ethnic nationalism, and anti-English sentiment, was expunged from the party in the 1970s.”

Rowling, who was the target of online trolls after backing the No campaign during the independence referendum, wrote: “Quite a claim. How many English incomers were polled before the making of that confident assertion?”

The journalist replied: “There was a movement called Seed of the Gael which was expelled from SNP in 70s. Zero tolerance of anti-English racism in SNP.”

Rowling hit back by questioning: “And on that base you claim that there is not a trace of anti-English prejudice in the SNP?”

The debate generated a lot of reaction on social media, with some SNP members saying they were “tired” of the author using her influence to “mislead the public”.

Denise Couper wrote: “Tired of JK using her influence as an author to mislead and smear SNP. She should respect the result of the general election.”

One user said: “Nothing worse than a Scot being anti-Scottish.”

Another Yes voter added: “JK consistently plays the anti-English card or the nasty cybernat one! Grow up Jo.”

Susi Maclean wrote: “JK, may help if you spent less energy ranting against anti-you prejudice and more in understanding Scots.”

However, some agreed with the award-winning author.

Kayleigh Anne said: “I can name a number of English friends from the top of my head who were subjected to exactly this.”

‘Gri64’ wrote: “There is a problem and the SNP have to address it.”

One user added: “I would say all of the SNP betrayal, blame, grudge and grievance narratives encourages an “anti” sentiment.”

Earlier this year, Rowling thanked Twitter users for their support after she became an online target for abuse in the wake of the General Election result.

She said that her ‘personal line had been crossed’ by some comments, which she had been trying to ignore for weeks.

She revealed that the support from her fans has even caused her to break down in tears, after followers invited her to all corners of the earth to cheer her up.

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